Next Engine’s 3D scanner played an integral part in the recreation of deceased actors Peter Cushing for the recently released Rogue One. Using the Next Engine machine Industrial Light and Magic, George Lucas’ visual effects studio, scanned a model of Cushing’s face. This enabled ILM to digitally recreate the actor that passed away more than 20 years ago. 

How Did They Do It?

Visual effects have been the go-to process for the film industry to create amazing characters like aliens and monsters, on the other hand creating realistic human characters provides some interesting challenges of its own. According to the article, How 3D Scanning Brought Grand Moff Tarkin back to life for Rogue One, “ILM began the process by studying Tarkin’s character in the original Star Wars film A New Hope. It wasn’t until they found an old life cast of Cushing’s face from the 1984 movie, Top Secret, that the visual effects team made real progress.” ILM then brought in a Next Engine 3D scanner to create a digital model that they then mapped over Guy Henry’s face, the actor that played the role of Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One.

Jon Knolls Take on the 3D Scanning Process

According to John Knoll, visual effects supervisor for Rogue One, “We weren’t doing anything that I think Peter Cushing would’ve objected to. I think this work was done with a great deal of affection and care. We know that Peter Cushing was very proud of his involvement in Star Wars and he regretted that he never got a chance to be in another Star Wars film because George [Lucas] had killed off his character.”

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